NBC's Kevin Tibbles meets the man with the job everyone in Texas is hungry for: BBQ reviewer Daniel Vaughn.
By Kevin Tibbles, Correspondent, NBC news
DALLAS -- When they say everything’s bigger in Texas, they certainly were talking about the ‘Flinstonian’ short-rib our hero Daniel Vaughn is waving around in his left hand.
His right hand, naturally, is holding a tray filled with brisket (lean and fatty), sausage and some scrumptious thing called pork butt (which is actually the shoulder).
Sometimes he’ll check out the chicken, which 'round these parts is referred to as "yard bird".
When you’re hanging out with Vaughn, the newly-minted-only-one-in-the-country barbecue editor for Texas Monthly Magazine, best keep the napkins handy.
“Do you ever use utensils?” I meekly asked as he digitally digs into his feast.
“I’m born with ‘em!” he laughs.
NBC's Kevin Tibbles (right) and Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn enjoy scrumptious dishes.
Our man has bellied up to the brisket bar in some 600 Texas BBQ joints in the last half dozen years, seeking the perfect marriage between meat and smoke and, sometimes, sauce.
He’s a transplanted Ohioan who moved to the Lone Star State and quickly fell in love with its culture -- and its grub. This guy is so into BBQ he even sports a pair of cowboy boots emblazoned with the various cuts of beef (like you see in those diagrams at the butcher’s counter).
What’s he looking for in a review?
“Is the seasoning overpowering or not there at all? The smokiness, and then the beefiness too. You don’t want the seasoning and the smoke to just completely overpower the beef," he said. "You wanna be able to tell that it’s brisket, you know?”
Yes, my waistline is beginning to know very well.
And like most kids in a candy store, Vaughn likes leaving the best for last; and in this case the best is the "fatty end."
“The fatty end’s where you get the ‘meat candy’” he laughed. “You’ll get a hunk of fat and then you’ll realize: You know what? I just wanna eat that anyway!”
I must say, it was the tenderest, moistest, juiciest, most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted.
Someone please pass another napkin.